Black Vine Weevil

Otiorhynchus sulcatus

Black Vine Weevil, Snout Beetle , Vine Weevil

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A close up of a black vine weevil
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Vine Weevil is a type of beetle that feeds off of a broad range of plants, both indoors and out. However, it has the most effect on plants that are grown in containers. They can be found in spring and summer eating leaves, but during autumn and winter, the grubs cause the most damage by feeding off the roots, which can cause the plant to wilt and possibly die.
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Traits

Grubs feed off the roots to plants resulting in wilting plant death.
Vine weevil eggs are a source of food for predatory insects.

Appearance

The adult weevil is a dark black, matte colour and have fused wing covers so are unable to fly. They have six legs and two long antennas on their head. They're nocturnal, so they come out at night to feed on the outer parts of leaves. The grubs are white with light brown heads that measure around 10mm in length.

Symptoms

You may see irregular notches in your leaf margins during the summer months. When digging up plants you can find white grubs with light brown heads, and these cause the plants to wilt and die during the autumn and winter months through feeding on plant roots.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Curculionidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Central Europe, including the UK.

Biological treatment

With the adult weevils, you can pick them off by hand when they come out at night or use sticky barriers to catch them on. Nematodes can be used and introduced to the soils of your plants, and you can buy these from some garden centres or online. You can use them in both containers or open ground. By using nematodes such as Steinernema kraussei, you can help to reduce any grubs that are in the soil. These should be applied from August to early September for the best results, as larvae will be smaller in size and not have caused too much damage already.

Chemical treatment

The systemic neonicotinoid insecticide, acetamiprid can be used as a liquid drench that you apply to the compost. This gives protection against grubs for up to 4 months and should be done between mid to late summer. Please be careful if this route is chosen. Neonicotinoids have recently undergone restriction measures due to the indirect harm they can inflict on other wildlife. This includes pollinating insects like bees, so sprays shouldn't be applied to plants in flower or near plants that are. If this option is sought, check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use.

Attracts this pest

Ornamental plants and fruit plants, in particular vines, Primula, Rhododendron, Heuchera, Cyclamen and strawberries.
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Knowledge and advice

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